Monday, April 19, 2004

On to a new week, and I've a feeling this one's going to be a bit more interesting than last week. Last week was really boring, culminating in an enkai on Friday night that I really didn't enjoy too much. For a start, one of the teachers who I sat next to was going on about visiting a strip bar afterwards, which I found a bit akward. I wanted to show him that I was one of the boys, and that I really have a liberal attitude towards things like that, but at the same time I didn't want to be the only foreigner among a group of drunk Japanese guys who would probably, by the end of the night, be asking me questions about the size of my chinpo. I also wanted to tell him that I don't tell lies to my girlfriend, but as he quite freely admitted that he was ready to lie to his wife I kind of felt that it would seem like I was placing myself on higher moral ground (you know, just to make him feel guilty).

I just want a quiet life.

That wasn't the worst thing about the enkai on Friday night. The worst thing was having to give a self introduction in Japanese, which I don't mind, so long as I am given time to prepare something to say in my head. Of course, I was told at the last minute, and even though I did manage to think of something that I thought was quite whitty, everybody else just sat there staring at me as if I was some kind of retard. 'Fuck you all' was what went through my head after that. Later on, one of the female teachers who sits near me came up and started talking to me like I was a child or a chimpanzee (exaggerated facial expressions, a totally false manner etc.) Now, I have come to the point in Japan where if I am confronted by somebody who shows me less respect because I'm a foreigner I simply start to ignore them. So, I started to ignore her and started talking to the strip bar guy again (he's actually a really good lad, and in all honesty I would have enjoyed going out with him and the other guys if it weren't for their childish overtones after a few beers.) Then one of the ladies who I teach with came over and spilt beer on my leg. She sat down and started asking me questions like "Out of the countries that you've visited, which is your favourite?" Of course she was designing questions so I would have to tell her what a fantastic and likeable country Japan is. So I said Egypt, and I told her I liked Egypt because of the wonderful people who live there. After that I went to Tamenobu to meet up with the other JETs. The atmosphere in Tamenobu was like it used to be, with lots of young people drinking and being merry. We, on the other hand, had a couple of beers and called it a night. There were also two dusty old guys in suits who sat next to us for some reason. They moved when the master found a young lady for them to croon to at a different table.

Anyway, on Saturday Aki and I went out to a restaurant just down the road from my place and left sharpish because the waitress was being incredibly rude. I was pissed off because I like this particular place; it has enormous portions and the interior is authentic. We went to another place on Kaji Machi eventually, which was alright. It wasn't the same atmosphere though. I'm also doing a different set of exercises now after being given the green light by my doctor and physio nurse. Saturday was also a rehabili day

On Sunday I got up early and walked up to the park to see all that was going on for the Hanami festival. It was a really good day weatherwise and the food was good. In fact everything was laid out like last years festival so I went to all the same places. I had a beer with my food and soon felt sleepy so I headed back to my apartment and fell asleep. When I woke up I was hungry again and I walked all the way down to Sapporo Ramen for a huge bowl of Chinese noodles. When I got back from that I decided that I needed an onsen, so I met up with Aki and we both went to Momotaro onsen. It was really good, as ever, and I enjoyed sitting in the sauna watching TV with the boys (Japanese guys who never talk to me), making faces and gestures of amazement at the TV because some stunt guy on a challenge-style TV show was opening beer bottles with a bottle opener fixed to his helicopter.

Now that's what I call entertainment!!!